Nobody ever taught me how to dance. Well, that’s not quite the truth. No one ever successfully taught me how to dance. The only dance I ever learned all the way through was the Macarena.
This wasn’t really a big deal throughout my childhood, I mean, dancing is dancing; it doesn’t matter if you’re breaking it down with some sick break dancing moves or if you’re doing the chicken dance to The Electric Slide.
The problem actually came right after I hit high school. Suddenly, I was a teenager, and there were these dances I had to go to with my Freshmen class.
“Homecoming is coming up! Do you have a dress?”
Let me explain two things to you dear readers. One, I don’t wear dresses, ever. Two, when you can’t dance and you don’t wear dresses ever; this becomes an almost deadly social combination.
So deadly, in fact, that on the night of my very first high school dance; I arrived looking like a turtle that had been rammed backwards into some other turtle’s shell. Don’t even imagine it right now, it’s far too gruesome.
Furthermore, I wasn’t hip on the dances they play at things like Homecoming. Who knew there was a coordinated dance to ‘The Cupid Shuffle’? I mean, it’s not like they say that right in the song. So, when the Cupid Shuffle came on, there I was, right in the middle of the dance floor, breaking it down the only way I knew how.
To the right to the right to the right to the right, to the left to the left to the left to the left, now kick now kick now kick now kick, now –
OH THE HUMANITY! I let out my very best Macarena ‘Aiiii!’ noise, clapped, and jumped in a one-quarter clockwise direction.
There were gasps, there were cries of indignation, there were probably even some sad, lonely, pimply freshmen in the back, heaving sighs of relief that for the first time ever, they weren’t the ones who were totally socially inept.
The music came to a blistering halt. The chauffeurs of the event could do nothing but open-mouth gape as I stood in the middle of a circle of surprised and indignant teenagers and watched them turn into a pack of yipping Hyenas at my embarrassment.
I swear it was like watching me hit puberty all over again, without the chocolate ice cream and moral support. For weeks on end, I would walk through the hallways, and people would start doing the Macarena like it was a party joke.
I promised myself that from then on, I would learn how to dance like them so that I would never ever have to experience such an embarrassment again.
Hours of training and sweating, multiple months, and a few hundred glasses of really cold water later, I was ready. It was the year of my Sophomore Homecoming and I was going to ROCK their socks off.
As I stood on the dance floor, I heard the first strains of the cupid shuffle going on, and damn, I was ready. I got right to it, flawlessly shuffling through every step like I had owned that song since childhood. I was one of the included members of the dance floor who cheered and hugged when it was over, and Holy Asgard, did that feel good.
As I sauntered off the dance floor, another song came on, accompanied by cries of delight. My arm was grabbed and we launched into another song.
If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eyed Joe, I’d have been married a long time ago, where did you come from where did you go? Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed –
I would like to state now that when I don’t know how to dance to a song, I stand on the sidelines and pelvic thrust, like most people do (I mean, should). Lucky for me, my Senior Homecoming was chalk-full of songs I knew how to dance to, including Gangnam Style, The Cupid Shuffle, and yes, even the Macarena.